In the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, the U. S. Senate Wednesday passed a watered down lobbying bill which emphasizes more disclosure rather than true reform.
As I heard some pointing out on the evening news shows, if this bill concerned lobbyists any more than it did, there would have been an uproar about it. All that met it was silence.
More disclosure sounds good, but most media outlets are not going to spend much time poring over lobbying records, no matter how voluminous they are. And the few who do usually find themselves too distracted by whatever tabloid scandal story of the week is taking place.
I don't remember the exact quote, but on one of the evening news programs I heard Senator Trent Lott talking about how some of the earlier proposals would have kept him from going out to lunch with lobbyists, but Sen. Russell Feingold answered that it would do nothing of the sort. All it meant was that each of them would have to pick up their own check.